THE RINGMASTER'S WIFE
An ounce of courage. A leap of faith. Together, they propel two young women to chase a new life -- one that's reimagined from what they might have become.
In turn-of-the-century America, a young girl dreams of a world that stretches beyond the confines of a quiet life on the family farm. With little more than her wit and a cigar box of treasures, Mable steps away from all she knows, seeking the limitless marvels of the Chicago World's Fair. There, a chance encounter triggers her destiny -- a life with a famed showman by the name of John Ringling.
A quarter of a century later, Lady Rosamund Easling boards a ship to American as a last adventure before her arranged marriage. There, the twenties are roaring and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties. The Jazz Age has arrived, and with it, the golden era of the American circus, whose queen is none other than the enigmatic Mable Ringling.
When Rosamund's path crosses with Mable's and the Ringling's glittering world, she makes the life-altering decision to leave behind a comfortable future of estates and propriety, choosing instead the nomadic life of a trick rider in the Ringling Brother's circus.
A novel that is at once captivating, deeply poignant, and swirling with exquisite historical details of a bygone world, The Ringmaster's Wife will escort readers into the center ring, with its bright lights, exotic animals, and a dazzling performance that can only be described as the Greatest Show on Earth!
A unique blend of biography and fiction makes this a truly captivating read. Cambron's talent for bringing history to life really enhances the story. I was as enamoured with the real life hero and heroine as I was with the fictional ones. And the circus setting makes a magnificent and unusual backdrop for both romance and mystery.
The Ringmaster's Wife is divided into time periods -- not really a dual timeline kind of book though -- more like flashbacks that bring Mable and John's story up to the 1920's where they mesh with Rosamund's. I was a bit confused at the beginning so just make sure to read the chapter headings which distinguish time and location and that will keep things clear.
This is a book with two distinct heroines who require equal billing. And interesting to note that their stories are exact opposites in some respects. Mable goes from rags to riches -- a poor farm girl with nothing but dreams who sets out to make something of her life and ends up romanced by a wealthy showman. Through her marriage to John, she becomes one of America's 'royalty'. Meanwhile, Rosamund comes from British titled wealth but shrugs off her perfect pedigree in order to chase her own dreams. I love the fact that both women set out to live the life of their choosing --- not the one society tries to foist upon them. And, of course, the exceptional men who encourage them.
Though this novel lacks an inspirational thread, there is a wonderful motivational message about finding the courage to follow your dreams. Both Mable and Rosamund overcome incredible odds to achieve their goals. I adored the wisdom that comes from Mable's life experience. She never takes on airs but is always open to providing opportunities to assist people to rise above their circumstances. She plays such a pivotal role in the lives of both Colin and Rosamund. I love the way her generous spirit brought out the best in both of them. Everyone needs someone to believe in them the way Mable does.
A fascinating glimpse into the drama, tragedy and triumphs of life under the big top.
My thanks to Thomas Nelson and Litfuse Publicity for providing me with a copy of this book.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of The Ringmaster's Wife please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday June 26 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!